Judge Orders Enterprise Rent a Car of Baltimore to Pay $6.6 Million To Job Applicants After Federal Hiring Discrimination Trial
LINTHICUM, MD - After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges has ordered Enterprise RAC Company of Baltimore LLC to pay $6,645,444 in lost earnings and benefits to 2,336 African-American applicants for the company's management trainee program.
The ALJ found that the Linthicum, Maryland-based federal contractor had engaged in a pattern and practice of discriminating against African-American applicants for these entry-level management jobs in the Baltimore area over a ten-year period.
The more than $6.6 million recovery represents the largest back wage award in the history of the Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
The order found that Enterprise violated Executive Order 11246 by discriminating against African-American applicants in favor of white applicants for its management trainee program from August 1, 2007 through July 31, 2012, and from August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2017.
The ALJ ordered Enterprise RAC Company of Baltimore LLC to pay back wages with benefits and interest updated to the present, which will be at least $7.2 million. The judge also ordered Enterprise to extend job offers to 182 of the 2,336 rejected African-American applicants by July 31, 2021, including pay as if they had been hired at the time of their rejection. The value of these 182 new hires will be at least $9.1 million. The total recovery in earnings, benefits and interest will be at least $16.3 million.
"The judge's order stands for fairness in employment, and sends a clear message of the serious costs of hiring discrimination," said Oscar L. Hampton III, the Department's Regional Solicitor in Philadelphia.
Additionally, based on Enterprise RAC Company of Baltimore LLC's years-long discriminatory hiring practices, the judge ordered the indefinite debarment of Enterprise RAC Company of Baltimore LLC from current and future government contracts until it agrees to implement specific steps to address the effects of past discrimination and prevent it from occurring in the future. The ALJ based the debarment ruling in part on internal audits conducted by Enterprise RAC Company of Baltimore LLC that showed its hiring practices had an ongoing disparate impact on minority applicants since 2007, and the company's decision to take no steps to address that pattern and practice of racial discrimination.
"OFCCP remains committed to enforcing laws that forbid hiring discrimination. Government contractors must monitor their hiring process to ensure that applicants are not rejected based on discrimination or biases. When an employer like Enterprise finds that it's hiring process are discriminatory, that employer must make corrections to its process to ensure equal employment opportunity for all applicants," said Michele Hodge, the Regional Director for OFCCP in Philadelphia.
In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their compensation or the compensation of others subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP's toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.
OFCCP protects workers, promotes diversity and enforces the law. OFCCP holds those who do business with the federal government (contractors and subcontractors) responsible for complying with the legal requirement to take affirmative action and not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discharging or otherwise discriminating against applicants or employees who inquire about, discuss or disclose their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations.